Are 4D Number Plates Legal?

Are 4D Number Plates Legal? In Short; Yes! But…

Are 4D number plates legal? In short, yes. When following relevant procedures and British Standards advised by the BNMA, 4D number plates will be fully road legal. However, when the surface of the letters are NOT black or spaced correctly, then 4D number plates WILL NOT be legal. This article will give some important information as to what makes a 4D number plate road legal and illegal.

What are 4D number Plates?

Lets first look at what a 4D number plate is. A 4D number plate, in summary, is a number plate that is made up of the usual components that a standard number plate is made up of but with the added extra of protruding acrylic digits on the surface of the number plate.

These protruding digits, or characters, are secured to the surface of the number plate acrylic with double sided tape or silicone; here at JDM Plates we use industry standard 3M double sided tape. Our adhesive tape comprises high adhesion characteristics with high temperature and UV stability; our selected tape was designed to be made for outdoor use on point of sale (POS) banners so quality and longevity is guaranteed!

4D Number Plate Styles

4D number plate styles can range significantly. JDM Plates offer road legal 4D plates which consist of the following products in a range of legal sizes:-

  • Sale! 4D 3mm Number Plate Standard UK Size | JDM Plates | 21st April 2024

    4D 3mm Number Plates For All Vehicles

    £24.99£67.99 inc. VAT
  • 4D 3mm Number Plate Import Size | JDM Plates | 21st April 2024

    4D 3mm Import Number Plates For JDM Vehicles

    £24.99£67.99 inc. VAT
  • 4D 5mm Number Plate Import Size | JDM Plates | 21st April 2024

    4D 5mm Import Number Plates For JDM Vehicles

    £27.99£71.99 inc. VAT
  • 4D 5mm Number Plate Standard UK Size | JDM Plates | 21st April 2024

    4D 5mm Number Plates For All Vehicles

    £27.99£71.99 inc. VAT

There are so many other combinations available online; many of them are advertised as being fully legal when in fact they are not; beware of these suppliers!

Road legal number plate characters must be black as stated in Schedule 2 of the ‘The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001′. However, with recent legislation revisions, it now states ‘BLACK ONLY’ which is why neon number plates aren’t legally allowed to be used. The previous interpretation of legislation could have been represented as colours are technically legal.

Krystal number plates also have the subjective exception as they are transparent and don’t technically have a colour. However, carbon 4D plates and coloured 4D plates (any colour except for black) are illegal; if you mount these number plates on your vehicle and are pulled over, you are very likely to receive an on the spot fine of £100.

What are the requirements for 4D Number Plates?

The legal requirements of 4D number plates are the same as that of every other road legal number plate. The relevant legislation still needs to be complied with in order to ensure the 4D registration plate is fully road legal. Some of the requirements for characters include:-

Character Height 79mm / 64mm
Width 50mm (14mm for 1 or I) / 44mm (10mm for 1 or I)
Character Stroke 14mm / 10mm
Spacing Between Characters 11mm / 10mm
Spacing Between Groups (Horizontal) 33mm / 30mm
Spacing Between Groups (Vertical) 13mm / 5mm
Character Font Charles Wright ONLY
Minimum Outer Margins 11mm / 10mm

So are 4D number plates legal? Yes, so long as the above requirements have been met. However, there are some other requirements that must be considered for imported vehicles with regards to the bottom plate margin and the vertical spacing between groups; they can be slightly different!

Not only do the sizes and spaces need to be complied with, but the materials need to meet a specific grade. For instance, the reflective material must meet a specific standard to ensure the minimum level of light is reflected. The black (only black) 4D characters must reflect a limited amount of lumens and the overall construction of the number plate must meet specific standards with regards to resistance of: temperature, abrasion, chemical splash, ultraviolet rays and discolouration.

However, many BNMA suppliers will ensure their materials comply with all the material specifications; JDM Plates proudly only use BNMA registered suppliers for 4D number plate materials to proudly confirm the answer to the question of ‘are 4D number plates legal’ being an absolute yes!

The Vehicle Crimes Act (2001) also needs to be adhered to via the number plate supplier; number plate suppliers must record the data of every transaction and keep this data on record for a minimum of 3 years. Transactions are recorded and relevant documentation are submitted to eliminate ‘number plate cloning’ as best as possible. When the relevant data has been recorded, the number plate supplier must then print their details on the plate; this consists of the Trading Name and Postcode.

Once all the above has been considered and complied with; the 4D number plate can then have the BSAU 145D stamp. Simply putting a BS mark on the plate doesn’t render the 4D number plate legal, as explained there is a more complex process involved. However a lot of suppliers state that their 4D number plates are legal because they have the BS stamp which is completely incorrect!

Some suppliers are stating that 4D carbon number plates with coloured backing are legal because the BS stamp on the bottom; again, this is completely untrue! Suppliers who advertise these aforementioned style of number plates as legal are simply taking your money and will leave you to fight off the law once you are stopped – when you are stopped; if you are lucky you might get a warning but are more likely to receive an on the spot fine…

Where can you buy legal 4D number plates?

There are plenty of suppliers available today who can manufacture 4D number plates. However, a lot of these may not be DVLA registered. All registered number plate suppliers will be found on the DVLA Number Plate Supplier Database. However, many sellers, typically found on eBay but will still take your money without being registered. A lot of these sellers do not comply with the above specifications and regulations and most likely will not use BNMA registered suppliers.

Not only this but most sellers won’t print any information on the bottom of the plate and will still state their 4D number plates are legal; not good!

Here at JDM Plates we comply with ALL legislative requirements and are also fully transparent with regards to informing customers what are legal and what aren’t. Not only this, but JDM Plates strive for customer satisfaction and offer many ways for customers to get in direct contact.

With every smaller number plate you will even receive a small certificate confirming your number plates are legal which states all the legislation and requirements we have to, and do comply with…

If you are interested in purchasing legal 4D number plates for your pride and joy then feel free to check the products in our number plate shop.

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